We asked a Swansea City writer: What should Sheffield Wednesday fans expect from Garry Monk?

New Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk started out life as a manager at Swansea City having played over 270 times at the club across the top four divisions of English football.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 15:58 pm
Updated Monday, 9th September 2019, 15:58 pm

But how did he get on at the Liberty Stadium and what has been his lasting legacy? We asked WalesOnline Swansea City writer Ian Mitchelmore how the club’s former skipper is thought of in South Wales, and how he thinks Monk will get on at S6.

- Garry Monk spent 12 years at Swansea. How is he thought of among the fans?

As a player, he is nothing short of a club legend. He was an integral figure in Swansea's rise up through the divisions and was a key member of the side that took the Premier League by storm at the beginning of their seven-year top flight stay. His block to deny Noel Hunt in the play-off final win over Reading in 2011 will never be forgotten.

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Despite guiding them to their best ever league finish, Monk lost a fair amount of support after his stint of manager though as it was the beginning of the club's shift away from the famed Swansea Way, although his efforts as a player make him one of the finest servants in the modern era.

- How would you describe him as a personality?

He's a very likeable character, and one that I imagine fans in the blue and white half of Sheffield will take to. He's very comfortable when it comes to dealing with the press too.

- His managerial spell started well - what style of play did he employ at the Liberty?

Garry Monk presided over 77 matches as Swansea manager, guiding them to Premier League safety and achieving a win percentage of 36.4%.

Winning the South Wales derby 3-0 in your first match in charge certainly helps to get the fans on board. As mentioned, he guided Swansea to an eighth-placed finish in 2014/15, their best ever. A win over Manchester United as well as doing the double over Arsenal represented a tremendous achievement.

But during the later stages of his tenure, there was a shift away from the style that got Swansea into the top flight in the first place. And the club started to suffer as a result.

- How did he perform in the transfer market?

The likes of Lukasz Fabianski, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Federico Fernandez were all signed in his first transfer window as manager while Matt Grimes - now club captain - and Kyle Naughton were brought in during his second window.

Despite the £28m sale of Wilfried Bony to Man City midway through the 2014/15 season, the club still went on to achieve a top eight finish.

Andre Ayew and Oli McBurnie were among those to come in during his second summer, although there a few flops too. Eder joined from Braga and made just 15 appearances for the club, failing to score a single goal before leaving to join Lille less than a year after moving to South Wales. To add insult to injury, he went on to score the winner for Portugal in the Euro 2016 final against France.

- What do you make of what he has gone on to achieve since leaving Wales?

It's been mixed to say the least. Leeds looked well on course for a play-off spot under his leadership before a monumental collapse in the final weeks of the season. His start to life at Middlesbrough - while not exactly rip-roaring - was decent, although he departed the club after only six months at the helm, despite Boro being in ninth place at the time.

For me, his best work since Swansea has come at Birmingham. The job he did there in tremendously difficult circumstances was nothing short of terrific. Not only did he guide them to safety in the final months of the 2017/18 season, he kept them well clear of the bottom three in his sole full season in charge, despite the points deduction.

- How do you expect him to get on at Sheffield Wednesday?

It's an intriguing appointment as Wednesday looked to be heading in the right direction under Steve Bruce. Monk has a decent squad at his disposal at Hillsborough, and given that they're a club who aren't among the favourites to go up, they can silently go about their business without having the added pressure from elsewhere on their shoulders.